Waratah was once a major municipality in its own right, with an elected council and mayor, incorporated in 1871. The suburb is now part of the Newcastle City Council and is a 6 kilometre drive into the City's CBD and beaches. Alternatively, you can jump on the train at Waratah Station which will conveniently take you into the Newcastle Transport Interchange at Wickham or follow the train line West. The suburb also hosts a major acute hospital, the Calvary Mater, which includes an large emergency department.

Waratah Village is the suburb's major shopping centre containing a Coles supermarket, 24 hour Kmart, Kmart Tyre and Auto, chemist, liquor store and a range of cafes and restaurants.

A large recreational area, Braye Park is located in Waratah West. The park provides views of the city, walking areas and picnic facilities. Other parks in the suburb include, Waratah Park, Allowah Street Reserve and Thomas Percy Oval.

For families, Waratah lacks nothing to be desired. There are a number of surrounding schools including Callaghan College, St Phillips Christian School, Corpus Christi Primary School, Waratah Primary School and Waratah West Primary School. The Forum is a gym located at the University of Newcastle's Callaghan campus, a short ten minute drive away, which offers activities and sports for the whole family. Many choose to attend swimming lessons in the 50 metre indoor heated pool.

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